Audio is the New Video.

Ok: so this video by W+K for Nike is certainly cool. For one, it’s soccer. For two, it’s Andres Iniesta from FC Barcelona. For three, it was shot with a 6-video-camera 360-spherical rig, introduced by director Scott Lyon.

But the thing that impressed me the most is actually the sound. Put some headphones on if you can… They nailed the audio. I’ve learned that was recorded bi-aurally… a system I’m told where the audio capture source is picked up and moved to multiple locations during filming, and then elements are mixed together in studio after the shoot. I don’t know much about this system, but if there are any audiophiles out there – do share with us.

Audio has always been a huge factor for big studio productions, but more and more it’s becoming recognized by the new generation of filmmakers (HdDSLR people mostly…) as a means to set apart their productions. Music, scoring, voice over, on location… so many opportunities to succeed–and to blow it.

Regardless this audio is dope. Audio is the new video. Audio is the new black.

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55 Responses to Audio is the New Video.

  1. Daniel February 2, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    different and impressive! Really good video with great sound!!
    Força Barça!!!! ;)

  2. Jeff February 2, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Ever get sliced living on the cutting edge? Good Stuff! Thanks.

  3. Nik February 2, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    super cool, but I am kind of shocked that an obviously big-budget campaign still has so much jello in the pans. ah well, still sweet.

  4. McKenzie February 2, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    If you are talking about binaural recording, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_recording), it is the process of recording audio in a fashion that imitates the natural way our ears “capture” audio. This includes placing microphones on either side of a dummy head, and often inside pinnae (outer ears) to replicate the unique manner that our ears take in sound.

    (pushes glasses up his nose)

    It works wonders in this video. Forget 3D movies. I say they start making Binaural mixes of films and let me watch them with headphones.

  5. Cesar February 2, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    You had me at Iniesta…

  6. David Dvir February 2, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    You’re right on there. Sound is basically half of what we take in with these videos so it’s really important. From what I know, biaurally (sp?) simply means the audio is recorded much like us humans hear. Rather than have 1 mic pick up audio, they use 2. They don’t just overlap them either, they’re placed and synced so that the audio hits one JUST before the other if the target is off to one side. So just like humans can tell if something’s coming from the left or right, using that delay so does this system.

    Some people would argue that the sound is obviously louder from whatever direction, which is true a lot of the time. but thing about a blaring siren or something, we still always somehow know where it’s coming from.

    The sound ini this is pretty sweet – i wonder if we’ll be seeing a lot more of this system…

    Dave

  7. Kim February 2, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    Google ‘virtual barbershop’ if you want to geek out some more on bi-aural recording. There’s an app called Papa Sangre that also uses bi-aural recording. It’s recorded with 2 microphones on either side-left and right (to simulate a human head and both ears). When you play it back your brain merges the sound, but you can also distinguish which parts are on left and right. Another term is called 3D sound.

  8. michael February 2, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    That was INTENSE! Thanks for sharing!

  9. rhett elliot February 2, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    http://www.neumann.com/?lang=en&id=current_microphones&cid=ku100_description

    likely what they used for the recording… it is THE standard for binaural capture.

    the “dummy” head is necessary to block certain frequencies we would normally experience “in our own heads”

    :) i’m glad to see a video/photogographer actually paying ATTENTION to the audio!!! as it is sometimes an after thought for some!

    Keep spreadin’ the audio love!

  10. DanielKphoto February 2, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    A very cool vid! The audio is great indeed :)
    Thanks for sharing

  11. ANTHONY February 2, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    painful to watch, i am a huge madrid fan…. but the audio is definetely dope. HALA MADRID!

  12. Jonathan Bergqvist February 2, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    “Audio is the new black” :D

  13. TimR February 2, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    I’ve worked on some low/no budget independent films, and the sound is always the last thing on the list of what to devote time and energy to getting right. And the thing is, everyone knows it’s important, but everyone involved except the sound person (if there even is one) is maybe so visual, they (okay, “we”–I include myself) don’t really grasp it since we can’t see it. If the sound sucks, the film sucks though, so it pays to get it right, or at least better.

    So right on, Chase, for helping elevate the status of audio.

  14. Andy C February 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Nice stuff. If you want to check out some very cool binaural recordings, go to Bowers & Wilkins’ Society of Sound label for their Accidental Powercut recordings:

    http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Society_of_Sound/Society_of_Sound/Music/sos-binaural-recordings.html

    Spooky stuff.

  15. Phil February 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    hey chase, you should check out this binaural microphone by neumann:

    http://www.neumann.com/?lang=en&id=current_microphones&cid=ku100_description

  16. Anthony Lazzari February 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Thanks for sharing! I am soo bad at capturing great audio. It is hard to pay attention to sound when you’re worrying about light, the subject, timing, camera settings, etc. Sound is so important though. Thank you for bringing it up. My company is making a push to make our audio match our photos and videos. This binaural audio capture is brand new to me. We will look into bringing this technique on board!

    Stay Inspired.

  17. Jim February 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Bad video with great audio is tolerable. Great video with bad audio isn’t.

  18. Michelle Sibley February 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    need dramamine now! i’m not sure if this is for me. too chaotic. i think simpler is sometimes better. kudos for being innovative though.

  19. Michelle Sibley February 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    ok, so after I was a bit negative about the vid being too chaotic and making me a bit dizzy. I still felt compelled to watch it 4 times….so there you go. my curiosity gets the best of me. i do appreciate athleticism as my daughter has reached a very high level of competive sports. my favorite part of this video is how they bent the pass! now, that was an impressively smooth piece of editing. i guess i shouldn’t be so flippant with a quick response. Thanks Chase!

  20. Matt Fitzgerald February 2, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    What fascinated me most about the video, was how much of the audio was mixed to sound like it was captured “binaurally”. Sure, some of the baseline sounds were captured using a binaural microphone, but there was quite a lot of studio trickery in there as well. As a musician/sound engineer turned photographer (yeah, say that three times fast!) I’m taking an educated guess in saying that at least 50% of the audio you hear whizzing about from left to right is studio trickery. It’s good trickery though. I mean, really good!

    Very glad to hear that audio for video is really getting the treatment it deserves. Great find Chase!

  21. Phat Photographer February 2, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    Felt like I was there – very nice.

  22. Jeffrey Friedl February 3, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    The soundbite about binaural is that it’s “3D for the ears”, and when it’s really well done, it’s just stunning. I heard some “mystery theater” type shows presented in binaural sound on the radio about 30 years ago, and have never forgotten the feeling. Have always wondered why it didn’t catch on.

  23. Paul Conrad February 3, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    It would have been even better if it would have featured Messi!

  24. Jason D. Smith February 3, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Damn!

    I first listened to it from my Mac tower speakers, then listened to it with headphones and what a freakin’ difference. Goooood s#@t!

  25. Neil Matsumoto February 3, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    As the editor of HDVideoPro Magazine, I totally agree that audio is often the most overlooked department in the production/post-production chain. Now with the return of many dual system productions (thanks to the HD DSLR revolution), filmmakers are getting a better understanding of the importance of recording professional quality sound.

  26. chris bernard February 3, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Wow. That is VERY cool. Well done , it hold your attention too.
    Chris – chrisbernardphotography.com

  27. Nick Girard February 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Video shows the world and the Audio brings it to life.

  28. Clayton February 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    I’ll take this opportunity to say that “HdDSLR” manufacturers need to begin to include more professional audio inputs on their cameras. Sometimes a 1/8″ mini plug isn’t going to cut it. Balanced XLR audio inputs should be standard on all video cameras that want to even pretend to be pro. If you have to put it on a dongle, fine. Just make that dongle lock into the camera body. :)

    I know many people record audio off camera, but camera mfgrs should provide more pro options for people to record their audio on camera.

  29. Aleeya February 4, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Is this like HDR for audio?

  30. Anthony February 4, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    That was a really cool video.

  31. Stuart H February 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Binaural… didn’t catch on in previous decades because proper reproduction, as some commenters have noticed, require headphones for the full experience. The effect is there but very subtle on speakers.

    The Neumann KU100 Dummy Head mic is wonderful but very expensive. My college had one that got named Dr. Nomar. Still in production.

    A more modern take on binaural and multichannel audio recording is the Holophone series of mics -
    http://www.holophone.com/products
    They make large ones and small ones that can be camera mounted. The tech details are pretty amazing, you can record Dolby-encoded 5.1 onto stereo tracks in your camera!

    Video without audio is surveillance. “lol”

    Thanks for the inspiration in all that you do, Chase and Crew!

    Stuart

    • Will February 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

      It’s just stereo, folks! Well…not JUST stereo, but still, binaural recording is nothing earth shattering and new. As stated by an earlier post, it’s best experienced with headphones as this places the playback closest to the configuration by which the microphones picked it up in the first place.

      Binaural is one of many stereo mic’ing techniques (XY, ORTF, Spaced Pairs A-B, M-S, Blumlein). Each has it’s own characteristics based on the angle, spacing, and pick up pattern of the microphones.

      • Mike February 5, 2011 at 12:41 am #

        Again, good to see a post with emphasis on audio. It really is key to good film making.

        Just to clarify, binaural, whilst it uses 2 mice like all the other stereo techniques mentioned, has 1 key difference. Whilst there is a slight (we’re talking a few ms here) delay due to the mics being placed slightly apart like our ears, our brains also interpret the frequency difference that the masking of our head creates. A sound coming from the left will arrive later at the right ear, but as the head is in the way, will also be missing some of the high frequency content.

        For example, using this technique, recording through a dummy head (and listening through headphones) it’s possible to tell if a sound is in front, or behind, even though it may have the same distance difference between the left and right ear. The masking of our ears in this case removes a small amount of high frequencies (around 7kHz). Check out the barbershop audio mentioned in a previous comment on headphones!

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  45. javiermalagon March 22, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

    Hi and thanks chase for featuring the work and everybody for the kind comments.
    Myself and my then creative partner Anders Stake worked on this a few years ago.

    The film was intended to be distribuited online so we figured out most people
    specially young football fans watch YT videos with their headphones on so we
    tought it’d be a nice touch.

    This wasn’t a big budget production as one of the comments above mentions
    but rather the thrill to experiment that made everybody in the team to go
    beyond the line of duty.

    All audio credits go to Anthony at Factory Studios in London who didn’t shy
    away when we presented him with the challenge and a tight deadline.

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